Minister: Cocoa trade hub at Port of Tanjung Pelepas has potential to attract foreign investors

This file photo taken on November 14, 2016 shows a worker sorting cocoa beans at the SCAK cocoa processing plant in Beni. — AFP pic
This file photo taken on November 14, 2016 shows a worker sorting cocoa beans at the SCAK cocoa processing plant in Beni. — AFP pic

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ISKANDAR PUTERI, Oct 10 — The cocoa trading hub at Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) here has the potential to attract foreign investors, said Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

The minister said that at the moment, Malaysia imports more cocoa beans from African countries before processing and exporting them.

“We will take a look at the potential for bringing in foreign investors to start a factory or chocolate factory and make this hub a distribution centre to ASEAN and other countries,” she told reporters after visiting the hub today.

At present, four local companies use PTP as their cocoa hub, which, among others, involve cocoa grinding totalling 460,000 tonnes a year.

Zuraida said cocoa grinding has big potential compared to cocoa planting, considering the complications involved in the cocoa plantation.

In Malaysia, there are only 5,200 cocoa growers producing an estimated 1,000 tonnes

“The cocoa industry contributed RM6.2 billion to export income in 2020. The ministry is confident that the target this year of RM6.5 billion can be achieved,” said Zuraida.

Last year, Malaysia was the second largest cocoa processor in Asia and sixth in the world, contributing 7 per cent of the world’s cocoa grinding. — Bernama

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